Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Folk Brigadoon

Tomorrow I head off to Nova Scotia for the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival. I have performed twice before at this festival, and I am excited to return. Lunenburg is a beautiful town, a UNESCO world heritage site because of it's ship-building and maritime history.

The festival takes place all over town, in churches, parks, and in the case of one stage, right down on the wharf (one year the Bluenose II was sailing in and out of the harbour as I performed on the wharf stage). But my favourite thing about the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival is the big white tent on the hill.

The big white tent is the mainstage of the festival. It holds somewhere around 800 - 1000 people, and it is a magic place. This picture taken by Garry Woodcock a few years ago gives you some sense of what it looks like, but it's hard to explain what makes it so special.

There's something about being inside this tent with a huge number of people, all there to enjoy music and sing together, that makes you feel good. And when these people sing, do they ever sing! On Sunday morning there is a gospel concert on the mainstage, and both times I was there I swear we would have achieved lift-off if the tent hadn't been pegged down. If it's sunny, there are breathtaking views of the harbour. When it rains, they roll down the sides of the tent and it gets nice and cozy inside. Sometimes the fog rolls in and envelopes the tent, which makes me feel like I'm in Brigadoon.

And maybe that's a good way to think about the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival - like a Canadian folk music Brigadoon of sorts.

Well, Brigadoon, here I come!


Monday, August 4, 2008

Keeping Up The Momentum

With most things that I apply myself to, I find that I go through bursts of interest and creativity, and then periods where I move on to other things and I can't keep up the momentum.

Take this blog. I had a good run there last week, with posts every day for a while. And then, I got stuck. And other things took priority. Despite my best intentions to wax eloquent at least three to four times a week, I fell off the wagon.

It's the same with music. A few weeks ago I was working every day on a couple of new fingerstyle pieces from some books and DVDs I just bought. Last week I wrote a new song, and started learning a Tim O'Brien song I really like. But the past few days I just haven't gotten around to it.

And booking gigs - the same thing. I'll have a couple of weeks where I really go at it, and then the next week I'm spending my time on something else.

It makes me wonder about attention span, discipline, and procrastination. Am I alone in this? How do the rest of you deal with momentum and keeping at it?